During our “31 Days of Facebook Marketing” series this month, we’ve covered several of the components that are needed for an effective Facebook brand marketing plan and program. To tie it all together, we’re mashing together our best practices into three key areas: creating content, advertising, and building the right team to manage the work.
Here’s our recommended Facebook marketing framework:
Create compelling content
All of your other marketing efforts on Facebook won’t amount to much if you aren’t publishing a steady flow of status updates that inspire your fans to respond in the form of likes, comments, and shares. And because the overwhelming majority of your fans (96%) will only ever visit your Facebook Wall and tabs one time, you’ll have to reach them through status updates in their News Feeds to stay visible at all (see our explanation of the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm).
To do that, create and share content that…
- Taps into current events
- Surfaces at the time of day when your fans are most likely to be connected to Facebook, including nights and weekends
- Includes an element of “exclusivity”
- Features a standout visual or video thumbnail/link
- Reflects your brand’s own culture and values
- Is targeted toward a particular geographic region, language group, or demographic
- Gives your fans a way to talk about themselves, their interests, and their opinions
- Offers a “social object” that your fans will want to interact with, post on their own Walls, or show off to their friends
- Isn’t always about your brand, your special offers, and your broadcast news
- Is sometimes social … just for the sake of being social
- Integrates with initiatives on your brand’s other marketing channels, including your corporate site.
Advertise to fill in the gaps
Ads on Facebook won’t make up for bad content, but they can drive users to the good work that you’re already doing on your brand’s Page.
Written by former LiveWorld employee, @BryanPerson.
You’ll need to spend time regularly testing what works and doesn’t, but Facebook advertising offers a (relatively) affordable way to acquire new fans and to re-engage existing fans who may not be seeing your brand posts in their News Feeds.
Use Facebook Sponsored Stories, for example, to point your fans to a recent status update, or to an interactive application or game that someone has played. As those fans click through and start connecting with your content again, their EdgeRank affinity to your brand Page will rise, and you’ll gain a News Feed visibility boost for future posts.
As Dennis Yu told me before our recent Facebook News Feed Optimization panel, “At the end of the day, NFO is about getting the folks who love you in real life to express that love to their friends. And we have to use a variety of mechanisms to get a combination of exposure [NFO] and engagement. For you to even get that interaction, you must show up. And advertising is how Facebook wants us to get that [News Feed visibility] going.”
Staff and manage appropriately
To publish all of your content, respond to the resulting comments and feedback from fans, and run your advertising campaigns, you’ll need the right kind of team to manage your Facebook Page(s) on a day-to-day basis. That should include many or all of the following:
- A person or group to gather and produce content assets such as photos and videos
- Community managers who are trained and skilled in starting stirring, and carrying on online discussions (think “social” rather than “broadcast”), with an underlying approach that ties back to the brand strategy
- Human moderators and/or customer-service reps, either internal or outsourced, who review and tag all fan posts and comments against moderation guidelines, and then remove, escalate, or respond as needed
- An analytics person to review data from Facebook Insights and/or moderating tagging, measuring the results against the business strategy and tweaking/reworking as necessary
- A marketer who knows the nuts and bolts of Facebook advertising
- A developer who can integrate Facebook social plugins to your brand’s corporate website and the Graph API “Like” button back into your Facebook Page.
This post is part of an ongoing “31 Days of Facebook Marketing” series from LiveWorld, a social media agency that offers moderation, insight, and community programming Facebook services for Fortune 1000 brands.